Seniors: 5 Reasons to Limit Red Meat in Your Diet


You hungry? There was a time when a thick, juicy steak and baked potatoes were the standard dinner-time meal. But that was before researchers understood the long-term impact of red meat consumption on health and longevity.

Should you eat red meat in your senior years? Or is red meat unhealthy for seniors? A small amount of red meat isn’t going to have a significant impact on your overall health. But there are at least five reasons you may want to avoid or limit eating red meat. Eating red meat raises the risk for:

1. Colon cancer.

As you age, your risk for colorectal cancer goes up. You can cut your risk for colorectal cancer by eating more fiber-rich foods. However, red meat doesn’t contain any fiber.

2. Alzheimer’s disease.

Red meat contains high levels of iron. And while you need iron for things like energy, digestion, and healthy immune system, too much iron and free radicals can interfere with brain function, and lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Poor circulation.

Red meat is high in saturated fat, causes inflammation, high cholesterol, and narrowing of the arteries that increase the risk for heart attack and stroke.

4. Digestive problems.

Red meat takes time to digest. If you’ve ever experienced indigestion, heartburn, trouble swallowing, diarrhea, or constipation, red meat may be to blame.

5. Obesity.

Whether it’s a steak, hamburger, or deli-meat sandwich, red meat is high in saturated fat and calories that can lead to poor health. Eating too many calories and foods high in saturated fat is a recipe for weight gain and obesity.

So what should you eat for best health? Avoid or limit red meat. And eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Take a trip to the grocery store for some healthy-meal shopping, or check out our selection of Senior-Friendly meals.